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Is there any significance to shaving the head?

First of all, lay Buddhists are not required to shave their heads, only the monks and nuns. In most Buddhist traditions it is a custom/rule that when you become a monk or nun (a.k.a. Bhikkhu) you have ...
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12 votes
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What type of Buddhist monks are only allowed to eat two meals per day and why?

Those monks who follow the pātimokkha (Sk. Prātimokṣa), either Mahayana or Theravada, keep this rule (or, in certain cases, a rule to eat only one meal per day). The rule is simply: 37. Should any ...
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12 votes
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Can someone explain about children monks?

In Thailand, male novices (called nen or samanera) are a fairly common sight. Very often they have taken vows only temporarily. They may do it during the phansa (rainy season) period, during summer ...
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  • 475
12 votes

How is forgiveness defined in Buddhism?

You said, "Forgiveness means if anybody do some harm to you you don't react and just try to pretend like it never happened to you." This is called "Kshanti-paramita", the perfection of patience. In ...
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11 votes

Can someone explain about children monks?

Who decides: Often they are coerced into doing it for a short period of time; other places poverty drives them to ordain. In rare cases they do it of their own volition because of some wholesome ...
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11 votes

Should Lay Buddhists Teach the Dhamma?

Lay practitioner ==> monk is not a one way street. Some monks renounce their vows for various reasons (not always bad). A famous example in Western Tibetan Buddhism is Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who ...
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11 votes

Do monks have big ups and downs in their life?

Take a look at Ajahn Lee's autobiography, page 16 and onward. His practice slackens, he grows disillusioned with being a monk, and he begins an obsessive debate within himself about whether to ...
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  • 1,807
11 votes

Strong desire to serve/ordain

I would say to give it a test run. Start keeping the 8 precepts: Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures. Adinnadana ...
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11 votes

Buddhist monk education level

The main objective of being a monk is to attain Nibbana as soon as possible. Not to achieve recognition for being knowledgeable or intelligent. Read the story of the novice Culapantaka who couldn't ...
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10 votes
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How to help non-Buddhists understand a young person's desire to be ordained as a monk?

Selling Points According to the Buddha's teaching in the Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2), there are a whole host of benefits to the life of a samana (i.e. a monk). In brief: Freedom from requirement to ...
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10 votes
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Physical Exercise as a Monk?

Healthy and fit body does not need to be seen as an attachment. If a monk took the Bodhisattva Vow, all his activities will be done with the wish to benefit others. A healthy body is actually a very ...
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10 votes
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Computers and Buddhist monks, offering computer to monk makes bad karma to both monk and donor?

In western monasteries isn't not uncommon for monks to use computers to teach the dhamma online or write books. However, a monk wont own the computer, you'll be giving the computer to the sangha. ...
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9 votes
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What can be done about fake monks?

I have some suggestions. Guard yourself against any possibility of Wrong Speech by not saying anything about these persons, their motives, or actions that you don't personally know to be true; even ...
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9 votes

What is the life of a monk really like?

I had the same problem as you with romanticising monk life. Of course the day to day living of a monk varies a lot depending on whether they live in a monastery, a cave, or the forest. Despite having ...
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8 votes

What type of Buddhist monks are only allowed to eat two meals per day and why?

Actually, in Pali Canon, Buddha suggests to his students to only eat one time a day, before noon. Among the reasons he provided, the three I remember are: Because eating required begging, not eating ...
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8 votes

What is the meaning behind different robe colors?

I believe initially the robes were mostly yellow as this was a color of renunciation in the locality at the Buddha's time. As the Dhamma-Vinaya spread the different robe colors occurred due to the ...
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8 votes
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In modern times what percentage of monks are female?

In reply to "what percentage of Buddhist monks are female?" - In Korea, the number of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis is very similar. In Taiwan, the numbers of bhikkhunis now substantially surpass the ...
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8 votes

Strong desire to serve/ordain

Some times monastic life may not be calm as you think. Also austerity of vinaya will make it harder than lay life incase your have significant attachments. So best is: lean the Vinaya so you do not ...
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8 votes
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Ordination procedure in Theravada Buddhism - What are grievous crimes?

Page 99 of this account of The Buddhist Monastic Code list 11 types who should not be ordained as bhikkhus, a pandaka (essentially, a eunuch or a person born neuter—see Sanghadisesa 2), a “...
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8 votes

Punishments for breaking vinaya rules

In theory the Pāṭimokkha Rules: Intro | Bhikkhus' | Bhikkhunis' is the basic code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for monks (bhikkhus) and 311 for nuns. It lays down offences and ...
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8 votes
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Are monks better teachers than ex-monks?

1. There were lay Arhats In the Buddha's time there were lay Arhats such as the rich merchant Vimalakirti of Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra. His knowledge was considered by the Buddha (to the discomfiture ...
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7 votes

What is the meaning behind different robe colors?

With the historical significance of the color of the original robes explained by other posters, I'll just add a color chart to identify what regions different colors are mostly associated with today; ...
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  • 9,482
7 votes

Physical Exercise as a Monk?

The Dalai Lama takes daily exercise, including walking on a treadmill if it's too wet to walk outside -- http://www.dalailama.com/biography/a-routine-day. It makes sense to me since given that this ...
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7 votes
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Where did the Buddha say that the minor rules for monks could be ignored?

The sutta is DN 16, where the Buddha is giving his last instructions. He gives four injunctions in total: Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "It may be, Ananda, that to ...
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6 votes

Is a monk allowed to receive money?

According to the Monk's Sila, they can not accept money, since money is related to sensual pleasures. Therefore when monks have to deal with money, it's better to take help of a lay follower. In Sri ...
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6 votes

What are the requirements or preconditions for someone to ordain?

Disclaimer: This is the current knowledge I have on the Theravadin tradition. Here is a summary that answers your question: Becoming a Novice The first part of the ordination procedure for ...
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6 votes

Theravada Buddhism and Art

These are pictures I took at the Laotian temple (in the US) I've been attending. I'm told the monks make the decorative parts of the buildings and the statues. I thought this was very interesting so I ...
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  • 9,482
6 votes

Is there any significance to shaving the head?

I believe they shave their heads because they don't want to have attachments to the body or self image. They also don't use cosmetics, perfumes and so on... This is a very old practice, including the ...
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6 votes
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How is a Theravada Buddhist monastery established?

Initially, it is the invitation of the laity to the Sangha, who then satisfy themselves that the support is adequate for their needs. A lay community invites a Bhikkhu that they find particularly ...
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